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Desistance in men who have previously committed sexual offences: An exploration of the early processes

Milner, Rebecca (2017) Desistance in men who have previously committed sexual offences: An exploration of the early processes. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The aim of this research was to explore the early stage of desistance in men who have previously committed sexual offences with a view to understanding the process further, and to make recommendations regarding assessment and treatment. Secondly, to explore the role of the Circles of Support and Accountability project (an intervention aiming to reduce sexual offending), in the desistance process. The research used a prospective, longitudinal design with a mixed methods approach. Pre and post narratives/interviews about the experience of desistance and psychometrics relating to the proposed protective factors for desistance were collected from 39 previously convicted sexual offenders living in the community and engaging in a Circle. Eighteen sexual offenders on probation licence in the community formed a comparison group, and completed the same tasks approximately 12 months apart. The qualitative data were subjected to thematic analysis (Nvivo 10) and linguistic word analysis (Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count). Bringing together the results of all of the methodologies, a new, continuum-based model of early desistance for sexual offenders was proposed. This was tested using two methods of cluster analysis and a correlational analysis, and found initial support for the model. Possible protective factors and obstacles for desistance from sexual offending were suggested. It was also proposed that optimum levels of certain factors, previously described as obstacles to desistance (such as shame and stigma), may in fact act as maintenance factors. A key direction for further research is to test the predictive value of the variables within the model for longer-term desistance. This research makes an important contribution to the understanding of the early process of desistance in sexual offenders and also offers practical recommendations regarding implementing the findings of the model during assessment and treatment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Desistance, sexual offenders, Circles
Academic Units: The University of York > Psychology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.706077
Depositing User: Dr Rebecca Milner
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 16:04
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/16398

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